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8 ways to make the most of your wedding band

Booking a band for your wedding, party or event
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Choosing a wedding band can be tough – there are so many options! Take a look at our guide on how to choose a wedding band for some handy tips: http://groovemanuva.co.uk/blog/8-things-to-consider-when-hiring-a-band-for-your-wedding-party-or-event/

Once you have a band booked, there are things which you need to do to make sure that the band can provide the best service to you. Bands WANT to be able to give you a great service and the more you can do to help them out, the easier it will be for them to ensure that you and your guests have the time of your lives!

1. Your band should take the lead

A good party band will have done an event like yours many times before. They know what works and they know what needs to be arranged to make sure they can give you the best service possible. Let them know exactly what you want and then listen to them to work out how best to achieve it. Your band should give you very clear details about the service they provide along with their quote. They should communicate with you as the booking firms up – this is the mark of professionals!

2. Ideal arrival/set up times

Bands need time to set up. They will have lots of equipment to bring in to the venue, connect everything up, troubleshoot any issues with the venue and spend time getting the sound system sounding its best.

Speak to your wedding organiser at the earliest opportunity to make sure that they are aware that a band is booked.

Usually the wedding band will be more than happy to discuss logistics with the venue leaving you free to focus on other things.

If you do get involved in the logistics, the ideal situation is that the band will be playing in a separate room to where your guests will be in the afternoon. This allows them time to set up without getting in your way or interrupting other things that you have going on at that time. Normally a band will need 1-2 hours to get set up depending on the number of members.

Here is an example of a typical set-up schedule:

Band arrival – 5.30pm
Finish setting up – 7.30pm
Guests arrive – 8pm
First dance – 8.30pm

3. Less than ideal set-up arrangements

Often the band will be playing in the same room that you and your guests will be occupying in the afternoon. If this is the case then again, it would be a good idea to speak to your wedding planner about how this will work. Maybe it’s possible to arrange for people to move outside for a period of time? If that is not possible then the band will be able to set up with your guests around. However, this is not ideal and may be distracting for people trying to have conversations whilst a drummer keeps hitting his snare drum!

4. Song Lists

The band should have given you a list of the songs that they play – that is how you decided you wanted to book them! Some will have given you a list as long as the function you have booked them for (maybe 2 hours) and some will give you a list containing maybe 4 hours of music. This is the music they will be able to play for you.

Let the band run the night – they know how to work the crowd and re-order songs on the fly depending on what is happening.

You will probably be able to make requests for songs (see the next point) but generally you should feel that you can trust the band to deliver the entertainment you will have experienced when you saw their promo.

5. Requesting songs

Most function bands will have no problem learning a first dance or an extra song of your choice. Just let them know in plenty of time so they have chance to rehearse it! It’s also worth thinking about the type of song you want them to play. For example, you will probably get a better result choosing a commitments song than one by lady gaga..

6. Noise Limiters

These things are literally an event organiser’s worst nightmare! When sound goes above a certain level, the power to the room cuts out and the music stops. Do you want something like this spoiling your wedding?!

If the venue has a noise limiter then it needs to be disabled.

If it can’t then most (if not all) bands will not be able to play there. It will wreck your evening as well as the band’s equipment. You have been warned!

7. Food and Drink

Your musicians will have likely travelled for up to 3 hours to get to you. They will have shifted heavy speakers and been worrying if the logistics of the venue will allow them to a put on a good show for you. Normally there will be food available at your event so you need to make sure there is a little extra available for the band.

You don’t need to provide alcoholic drinks but soft drinks and tea/coffee should be available also.

8. Speak to your band!

These people don’t have this job because the income is lucrative (it’s not!). They do it because they genuinely love to entertain people. They WANT you to have a great time so why not harness this enthusiasm? They will want to speak to you and make sure things are going well for you.

Go and speak to your band on the night (they will love it), and discuss how things are going.

At weddings and events the real magic happens when your guests and the band really get on and the sparks fly! They just want to be treated well. Do that and you have a recipe for the best night of your life!

Summary

• Give your wedding organiser the details of your band nice and early (a few months before at least).
• Get the logistics sorted out in terms of arrival times and times you want certain things to happen during your event.
• Tell the band in plenty of time about any specific things you want them to do and make sure they have all the details about the venue where they will be playing.
• On the day make sure there is some food and chat with them about the event so they know what to expect.

Do all that and your band should be able to make sure you all have a cracking time!

8 Things to Consider When Hiring a Band For Your Wedding, Party or Event

Booking a band for your wedding, party or event

One of the best ways to make sure your wedding day is really memorable is to have really great entertainment that guests will not be able to stop talking about. Depending on what you read, the average cost of a wedding in the UK is something like £12,000 – £25,000. It is entirely possible to spend much more or less than this but we have found this to be a realistic average. It makes sense to allocate a reasonable amount of this to entertainment – the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ is especially relevant to bands!

1. Will a band be able to play at my wedding venue?

This is really the most important question you will have to ask when booking your wedding entertainment! Speak to you wedding organiser or the venue to find out if they allow bands to play at their premises. Sometimes it will not be possible but most venues these days will allow this. They will often require the band to be covered with public liability insurance and play with equipment that is PAT tested. You should ask the venue if they have an installed sound limiter. This will severely affect the band’s ability to perform for you and many bands will not be able to take the booking if that is the case.

 

2. Which band should I pick?

You may have seen a band that you like play at a friend or relative’s wedding. This is a great way to find a band as you have first hand experience of their sound and what they look like! However, you should still shop around as there are lots of wedding bands out there who play music in different styles. If you want something specific you can always contact a band to see if they can help you out? Use Google and agency websites to find a range of bands to check out.

 

3. How much should I pay for my band?

Popular wedding bands have lots of outgoings – equipment, rehearsal time, insurance, fuel costs and maintenance to name a few. As professionals they will take care of their business and won’t settle for using second rate gear or performing without the correct insurance. They will reflect this in the price and the band you want may charge anywhere between £1000 and £5000. Bands will perform for less than this but you may find that they cut corners in many of the areas above. It comes down to whether or not you want to risk paying less for a band who may let you down or will not fulfil their contractual obligations to you.

 

4. Am I safer booking the band through an entertainment agency?

Many party bands will be available to book either directly or through an agency. Be aware that most agencies ask bands to change their name whilst working for them. You may have to do a little digging to find the contact details of a band you originally discovered on an agency site. Once you approach them directly they should deal with you in the same professional way that an agent would. Agents often want to get the bookings made with minimal discussion, leaving you unsure about certain aspects of the booking. Dealing directly with a band may give you more opportunity to discuss the finer details. The added bonus is that direct, the band will usually cost much less. Agents typically add on a 20% fee for which you don’t actually receive any improvement of service.

 

5. What kind of music will the band play at my party?

You should be able to see a list of songs the band can play on their website. They should have recordings and hopefully video allowing you to hear them live. You should pick a band whose music you and your guests will enjoy. Bands may focus on a particular style of music or they may play a range of different styles. There are so many bands out there that you have a great selection to choose from!

 

6. How long will the band perform for?

You should check the length of time the band can perform for. Bands usually play a standard total of about 2 hours which will be split into two sets of music which last for an hour each. Often the band will be able to play longer than this but may have to charge an extra fee for the additional work.

 

7. Will I have to fill out contracts and pay a deposit for my band?

Often wedding bands will ask you to complete a contract to secure them to play at your event. Good bands will receive many inquiries to play at weddings and parties – especially during the summer months where the majority will take place. A contract will protect both parties against cancellation. A band should certainly not cancel with you once they have been booked. It is often worth checking online to see if they have been mentioned positively or negatively on any forums. You should expect a short notice cancellation fee to apply with most of the good wedding bands. They will have had to turn down other work to keep your date free and they may struggle to fill that date if you cancel, especially if it is at short notice.

 

8. What other services will the band provide?
Often bands will provide a number of ‘free’ extras. Examples may be:

  • Playlist music from a laptop at the breaks in their set and at the end
  • A free live first dance
  • Learn an extra song of your choice

The band should specify in their literature as to what extras they can provide. They should be able to talk through all of these options with you.

 

Summary

You should make sure you do your research before booking your perfect wedding band. Look at their repertoire and feedback, listen to videos and recording and speak to them to make sure you are happy with what they can provide and the fees. If you put this time in then you will end up with a professional band who will be able to put on a great show for you and your guests!